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Discussion Starter #1
NOTE: You may want to turn your sound down for the video because it is extremely windy...

Well, this video was taken BEFORE all the helpful heeling techniques. There are tons of mistakes but we have only been working on this a few days:) Thought I would post it for fun.........critiques welcome but I already know I have a lot to work on(including about 20 extra pounds on the handler:)
 

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Great vid! You two are doing great! I didn't realize you are in Hawaii-that is so cool-so who did you get your dog from? I love Hawaii and I have been doing Polynesian dancing for years mainly Tahitian. Anyhow, we look forward to a future video when you have progressed=)
 

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First of all, I think both the dog and handler look great!
If you're thinking of training for competitive obedience I have a few pointers that may help.
First, don't mix your exercises up. For instance, you go straight from heeling into a stay, then into a down. This will be confusing for her. Instead, keep your heeling, recalls, stays etc. separate. It helps to tell her what you are doing...ie 'this is your recall', 'this is your downstay'. Eventually she will learn what to expect when you tell her and this is helpful in the ring.
Reward her close to your body. She has a lovely recall and front...try putting her reward in your mouth so that she looks at your face when she sits in front. Take the reward from your mouth with both hands, lower them to your crotch and feed her that way.
When you do your recall, stand upright and still. Body language is considered a second cue in the ring and you'll get dinged for it. Better to train her now to come to either your voice or a signal, not both. If she doesn't come on the first command, go back in and set her up again. It's very easy to train a dog to wait for a second command, and very difficult to untrain it! (believe me, I know!).If she doesn't come to voice only, try calling and turning around and running away from her so she chases you. She'll soon learn her recall command. Sometimes, instead of a formal front, throw a piece of food or a toy backwards between your legs for her to go after. That keeps it fun for the dog.
She looks very willing in the heeling department....lots of good potential there! I'd stick to heeling in a straight line for now, and once she has that down pat try the turns. I heel with my hand held against my tummy. I start the dog using my left forefinger as a lure...something for him to focus on. When the dog is in the right position, I mark it (yes!) reward and break it off. Then set up and do it again. Hold the treat in your right hand and transfer to your left to feed. Gradually make the exercise longer...always keep it fun and short. If the dog gets bored, you lose attention. Also, I would stick to on leash heeling at this point...once you have that mastered, then try off leash.
Keep it up. Have fun!
Vivienne
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First, don't mix your exercises up. For instance, you go straight from heeling into a stay, then into a down. This will be confusing for her. Instead, keep your heeling, recalls, stays etc. separate. It helps to tell her what you are doing...ie 'this is your recall', 'this is your downstay'. Eventually she will learn what to expect when you tell her and this is helpful in the ring.
Thank you for the great tips, I will definitely put them into action. I'm not sure what you mean by the above.... are you saying instead of doing a pretend trial to just do stays and then maybe another session do down, etc?
 

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Thank you for the great tips, I will definitely put them into action. I'm not sure what you mean by the above.... are you saying instead of doing a pretend trial to just do stays and then maybe another session do down, etc?
Sorry...I guess it's not very clear.
I would suggest you work on one exercise at a time. Work on your heeling, break it off, then work on your stays, break it off, then...etc etc. You can do them all in one session but make sure each exercise is well differentiated from the others.

Maybe I misunderstood your video, but it looked to me like you were heeling, then left her in a sit from her heeling and went straight into a recall. Left her in a sit, went away then came back and put her straight into a down.
Does that make more sense?
Vivienne
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry...I guess it's not very clear.
I would suggest you work on one exercise at a time. Work on your heeling, break it off, then work on your stays, break it off, then...etc etc. You can do them all in one session but make sure each exercise is well differentiated from the others.

Maybe I misunderstood your video, but it looked to me like you were heeling, then left her in a sit from her heeling and went straight into a recall. Left her in a sit, went away then came back and put her straight into a down.
Does that make more sense?
Vivienne
Oh, yes:) Makes perfect sense. I will work on that. I was going from one exercise to the next so I need to slow down. I will post a video in a few weeks to see if we have progressed. Thanks again!
 

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Good job! I think you both look great! Videos are a good way to observe what you're doing, and how the dog is doing/responding. Smart!
 

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it does look great, and for only a few days of tinkering it's great! She is following you and paying attention pretty well, and that is the main thing, you can work on the rest over time!!!

I agree with Vibrant, separate the different exercises out rather than flow from one to another for now. Later when she KNOWS the different things you can string things together, but it's like I suggest in the heeling thread; break it up! She doesn't know what she's doing yet really, and giving her lots of things to do isn't helping her work it out very well and it continues to sorta only muddle along. Does that make sense?

The other thing I noticed in particular was that you shuffled yourself into the heel position a couple of times, now I know she doesn't really KNOW heel position properly yet, but I'd be very careful of breaking that habit now before it does become a habit! Thats why the 'catch up' game is so good; the dog is very quick to work out the 'sweet spot' where they get clicked, and is very quick to 'find heel' again straight away; rather than YOU putting yourself into the right spot; the dog does it for you!

But definitely good potential there! I'm so proud of you going out and giving it a go! Keep it up and you will get there. Those amazing dogs who seem super-glued to their owners thigh in a long complicated pattern isn't beyond anyone who's keen to train and a smart poodle that's keen to work!!! At least that's what I tell myself... LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you, FD! Yes, I now know that heel is a position:) This video was before all the great info you posted in the other thread. I was thinking that heel was the action rather than the location. Now it makes sense.
 

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You guys look great and I think you can be a super competitive team. Vibrant and Flyingduster have already given you good advice. Here are my thoughts for what they are worth.

I noticed too that you move into your dog rather than having your dog move into you. You have to be careful that you are not instilling poor habits even in play. You may think it doesn't matter that you are not enforcing a straight finish, but with every crooked finish, your dog is building incorrect muscle memory.

I do so much of my practice at home, either down the hall or along the kitchen cabinets. This acts as a barrier to keep my dogs straight when we are healing or doing finishes.

When I heal, I spend a lot of time standing still and making small turns in place. 1/4 turn right. 1/2 turn right. 1/4 left. This teaches the dog to stay straight in the heel position. When I start moving, I only ask for a few steps of real heeling (in position, eyes up at me). Then I break off and Party!. I find that I can increase the number of steps over time.

I think your girl is far enough along that you should start to tighten up your body language. For example, start practicing the recall as in the ring with straight body and arms at your side. I would go back to doing them on leash too. Watch the double commands. They are the kiss of death in competitive obedience!
 
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